Emma Raducanu has charmed Romania, now they'd like to poach her

‘Emma Raducanu is more than welcome to play for the Romanian Fed Cup team’: Ana Bogdan makes cheeky bid to poach British teen sensation after she charmed the locals in her father’s homeland

  • Emma Raducanu has made a strong impression on the home players in Romania 
  • The British No 1 faces Ana Bogdan in the second round of Transylvania Open
  • World No 106 Bogdan said Raducanu’s US Open triumph was inspirational

The unfortunate timing of the Transylvania Open means that very few of Emma Raducanu’s Romanian fan club are able to watch her in person this week.

Local lockdown measures have seen to that, but there is no question she has made a strong impression on the large contingent of home players.

So much so that one of them — 28-year-old Ana Bogdan, who plays Raducanu in today’s second round — said she would be happy to see the British No 1 throw her lot in with her father’s country of birth.

Emma Raducanu has made a strong impression on the home players in Romania

Raducanu has spoken of how the Romanian players — more numerous than female Brits on tour — have been especially friendly and ‘taken me under their wing’.

Bogdan, the world No 106, responded: ‘If she wants to play for the Romanian Fed Cup (Billie Jean King Cup) squad, she is more than welcome.

‘She was born in Canada but grew up in the UK. It’s amazing, I also understand she speaks Chinese. She speaks a few words in Romanian, too. This is quite sweet, she has a sweet accent.’

Whatever her multicultural roots, Raducanu was very much made in England and will not be representing anyone else. Her next fully competitive appearance in the UK could be in February, if the British BJK Cup team are drawn at home in their qualifying match for the annual finals.

The Transylvania Open has been held behind closed doors due to lockdown measures

Nonetheless Bogdan, one of eight Romanians in the top 150, still found what she did in winning the US Open inspirational.

‘She showed everything is possible if you work hard, believe and keep being positive. If you do the right things, you can do it.

‘It’s very important to have the right attitude. That is what I admired when I saw her. I admired her focus, her footwork, her shots and the way she behaved. That smile and that innocence on her face, that was the key. It was an inspiration for me and for many girls out there.

‘Somehow in that final, I was expecting her to win. Because her game is amazing. Her shots are very good and deep, strong and powerful.’

Bogdan has been as high as 59 in the world, but her current standing of 106 suggests she should not pose too much threat to the US Open champion.

The British No 1 faces Romania’s Ana Bogdan in the second round of the Transylvania Open

However, these sluggishly paced indoor courts at the BT Arena may act as a leveller.

Raducanu was delighted to come through her first round, for what was her first win at the regular level of the WTA Tour. Most anticipated would be a semi-final on Saturday against her fellow local hero Simona Halep.

The British No 1 was watching in the stands as the former Wimbledon champion won her first round. Although this event has been ordered to be held behind closed doors, there was again a three-figure total of people who had found their way in on some premise or other.

Cam Norrie takes on Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round of the Vienna Open, hoping to knock out one of his rivals for a place in next month’s ATP Finals in Turin.

The pressure remains on Norrie after one of his closest challengers, Italian Jannik Sinner, edged him down to 11th place in the race yesterday by beating American giant Reilly Opelka in Austria. The ninth finisher will qualify.

Whatever happens in the next few days, nothing will be decided until next week when double the qualifying points are on offer at the indoor Paris Open at Bercy.




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